Curcumin Enhances the Abscopal Effect in Mice with Colorectal Cancer by Acting as an Immunomodulator

Kuang Chung Shih, Hui Wen Chan, Chun Yi Wu, Hui Yen Chuang*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Radiotherapy (RT) is an effective cancer treatment. The abscopal effect, referring to the unexpected shrinkage observed in non-irradiated tumors after radiation therapy, is thought to be mediated by systemic immune activation. However, it has low incidence and is unpredictable. Here, RT was combined with curcumin to investigate how curcumin affects RT-induced abscopal effects in mice with bilateral CT26 colorectal tumors. Indium 111-labeled DOTA-anti-OX40 mAb was synthesized to detect the activated T cell accumulations in primary and secondary tumors correlating with the changes in protein expressions and tumor growth to understand the overall effects of the combination of RT and curcumin. The combination treatment caused the most significant tumor suppression in both primary and secondary tumors, accompanied by the highest 111In-DOTA-OX40 mAb tumor accumulations. The combination treatment elevated expressions of proapoptotic proteins (Bax and cleaved caspase-3) and proinflammatory proteins (granzyme B, IL-6, and IL-1β) in both primary and secondary tumors. Based on the biodistribution of 111In-DOTA-OX40 mAb, tumor growth inhibition, and anti-tumor protein expression, our findings suggest that curcumin could act as an immune booster to augment RT-induced anti-tumor and abscopal effects effectively.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1519
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2023


  • OX40
  • abscopal effect
  • apoptosis
  • colorectal cancer
  • curcumin
  • immune
  • radiolabeling


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